Despite losing leading man George Clooney and making plans for his retirement, Steven Soderbergh is still moving ahead with his adaptation of the 1960s TV show 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and -- with the backing of Warner Bros. -- is eyeing some of Hollywood's emerging young stars to take one of the lead roles.
Among a list of some 20 names being bandied about, according to TheWrap, are Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling and Alexander Skarsgard.
The 1960s series starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum (now playing "Ducky" on 'NCIS') as an American and a Russian spy who team up to fight the evil THRUSH (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity) organization. The agents, Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, worked for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.), which was headed up by No. 1 spy Alexander Waverly (Leo G. Carroll).
Clooney was originally in line to play Solo, but bowed out when he discovered that the script was stunt-intensive and he feared he might put too much strain on his body, which is still recuperating from injuries sustained while filming 'Syriana.' Levitt, Gosling and Skarsgard, presumably, are being considered for the Kuryakin role, leaving the field wide open for Solo.
'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' ran from 1964-68, and spawned a 1966-1967 spinoff, 'The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.,' staring Stefanie Powers, as well as 1983 TV reunion movie, 'The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair.'